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LIVE: White Reaper at Mo Pop Festival

Not only is the music of White Reaper the ultimate nexus of charm and pure rock ‘n’ roll, but it is uniquely adrenalized as well. This is a trait that leaps from the record to the stage, as the band delivered an invigorating performance at this year’s Mo Pop Festival in Detroit, Michigan.

One of the most memorable aspects of White Reaper’s set was their banter between songs. They evaded the trap of appearing as musical robots who went through song after song without acknowledging the crowd by a wide margin, and instead revealed an innate ability to make the audience burst with laughter. Guitarist Hunter Thompson jokingly asked the audience if they were enjoying their sabbath, as the performance took place on a Sunday, and bassist Sam Wilkerson gave a shout out to his twin brother and White Reaper drummer Nick - who then promptly removed his shirt and pants before continuing with the rest of the set. White Reaper is effortlessly charismatic - something that will contribute to the band’s inevitable longevity just as much as their musical skill.

White Reaper at Mo Pop 2017

White Reaper at Mo Pop 2017

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of White Reaper’s live performances is simply watching keyboardist Ryan Hater. Taking full advantage of the fact that he does not have an instrument strapped to him, Hater jumps and thrashes - even making the occasional venture to the microphone to interact with the crowd. One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching live music is being able to witness the palpable cycle of energy that exists between a group of musicians creating art that they love, and a group of people who love their art. For White Reaper, Hater is a major catalyst for the radiation of this powerful electricity.

After reaching the conclusion of their set with the track “Judy French,” a single from their most recent album that drips with a delectable combination of goodness and grit, the previously quiet audience was in an uproar of applause and cheers. The audience had fallen White Reaper’s spell - an easy feat for a band that’s a refreshing combination of skill and stage presence.

White Reaper is hitting Chicago this week! They'll be at Lollapalooza Thursday, August 3rd at 12:45 on the Grant Park Stage. They'll also be opening a sold out show with Royal Blood at Lincoln Hall on Friday, August 4th!

Can't get White Reaper? Revisit our interview with them here

Black Lips Rocked Their Tour Kick Off in Carrboro, NC

On May 2nd, The Black Lips took the stage to kick off their tour at Cat’s Cradle in the same manner in which a speeding locomotive charges down the tracks....with an insatiable amount of gusto and power. Electricity permeated the venue as the band played to a crowd of moshing fans, adding zest to what was otherwise an ordinary Tuesday evening in Carrboro, North Carolina. The Black Lips matched the degree energetic nature found in their songs in stage presence, erupting with vitality from the first note played to the last.


Played early in the setlist was “Drive By Buddy,” a track that exudes groove from start to finish. With a slight sonic emulation of The Monkees, it succeeds in capsulating audience attention through its addictively rhythmic guitar riffs and sing-along inducing chorus (which instantaneously ensued). “Family Tree,” a track that is jam packed with dynamic variance and sonic juxtaposition followed shortly thereafter. The track kicks off with a swell of sound, complimented by a saxophone part that provides the song with an added level of distinctiveness. The song’s verses serve as a foil to its chorus, undertaking a cavernous tone before building into an exuberant and ebullient blast of sound.

The crowd at Cat’s Cradle broke into sheer pandemonium as soon as the signature resonant bass line of “O Katrina,” a notoriously upbeat track from the 2007 album Good Bad Not Evil was played. Not one stationary body was in sight as the song’s identifying crunchy, distorted guitar riffs and thunderous drum fills were played.

At the end of the night, the crowd left Cat’s Cradle sweaty, bruised, covered in a stranger’s beer, or any combination thereof. A band that does not perform with such an insatiable amount of sustained intensity simply cannot invoke that degree of reaction among audiences. However, The Black Lips did.

Live, the band is the equivalent of a blazing meteor: they’re bright, riddled with an infectious energetic power, and are so alluring and unique that they cannot be ignored. The amount of vigor they put into their live performances is so wonderfully contagious that inciting an all-encompassing electric reaction among crowd members is seemingly inevitable. That skill is not only the hallmark of a great musician, but a great artist.

Chicago, The Black Lips will be in town this weekend for not one, but two nights at The Empty Bottle. Night one is sold out, but grab your tickets to night two here. The rest of The Black Lips' tour dates can also be found here. 

You can also listen to the new album Satan's Graffiti or God's Art? below: